The five outgoing members of the Security Council — the Republic of Korea, Australia, Argentina, Luxembourg and Rwanda — delivered briefings to the Security Council this afternoon on the work of the subsidiary bodies they had chaired during their two-year tenure.
Briefing on the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee and the 1540 Committee concerning non-proliferation, Oh Joon (Republic of Korea) said that the tenth anniversary year of resolution 1540 (2006) was an opportune moment to renew political commitment and explore a future strategy for its full and universal implementation. He hoped that those efforts would give renewed impetus to the work of the Committee in the years ahead, including its preparations for the comprehensive review to be conducted by 2016.
On the Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee, he said he had organized his chairmanship around three core principles. The first was on enhancing the credibility of the sanctions regime, while at the same time considering how those measures could promote peace and stability in the region. The situation in Somalia was complex and required a holistic and comprehensive approach. While there had been considerable progress in recent years, a variety of obstacles remained. Effective implementation of the sanctions remained of vital importance for the country’s path towards stability.
The second focus was on strengthening engagement with the concerned countries, he said, adding that he had met with representatives from Somalia and Eritrea as well as of other countries in the region, whose views on the Committee’s work helped provide a balanced perspective on relevant issues. His final focus was on maintaining close working relations between the Monitoring Group and the Committee for the successful implementation of its mandate. He took into serious consideration the analyses and recommendations made by the Group on the most effective ways to implement the sanctions regime.
Gary Quinlan (Australia), briefing on the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee and the 1988 Taliban Sanctions Committee, stated that his country had made an effort to demonstrate the positive impact that sanctions could have, given their role in protecting fragile States emerging from crisis and in preventing escalation or recurrence of violence. Highlighting some themes that had arisen from recent consultations with the States to which those measures applied and their neighbours, he said that greater transparency and closer engagement with the affected States was crucial. The greater the engagement between them and the Sanctions Committees, the more effectively the measures could deliver the intended outcomes. The 1988 Taliban sanctions regime was a model for such collaborative engagement.
Synergies across the Committees, he added, were crucial and he was surprised to find that there was no capacity, either in the Council or in the Secretariat, to consider sanctions in a cross-cutting way. Australia was negotiating a resolution to meet that need. Turning to the indispensable role of the expert groups that supported the Committees, he praised the Al-Qaida monitoring team for generating outstanding reports, which were instrumental in the Council’s ability to respond to threats. The investigative and analytical work done by the Iran Panel of Experts and the outreach activities they conducted were also commendable.
María Cristina Perceval (Argentina), Chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee and the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, said the Group had the important task of making proposals and recommendations to the Council to enhance efficacy as well as to promote democratic transparency and openness. During the past two years, the Working Group drafted six notes, including on ways of promoting dialogue with non-members and with troop- and police-contributing countries.
She urged the Council to name the chairs of the subsidiary bodies as soon as possible to promote learning as well as to ensure a smoother transition. Maintaining elected members as chairs of those bodies did not undermine the role of the permanent members but contributed to the democratization of deliberations, thereby enhancing the efficacy of recommendations.
On the Sudan Sanctions Committee, she said the panel, under her tenure, had visited Sudan for talks with Government officials, the European Union, and the African Union as well as representatives of other stakeholders. The Committee also held a meeting with countries in the region on the effects of the sanctions, with the aim of promoting a culture of dialogue. In view of the confusion surrounding the sanctions imposed by the Security Council and those imposed unilaterally, there was a need to clarify the reality that sanctions were not a punitive measure but a tool to achieve peace. It was important to reflect in particular upon the situation in Darfur, which held the key to peace in the wider region. All international stakeholders should work hand-in-hand to create incentives for peace in Sudan.
Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefing on the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, stated that the principal areas of work were implementation of the resolutions and outreach. The past two years had been very intense with regard to non-proliferation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Following the nuclear test carried out last year by the country and the many ballistic missile launches that followed, resolutions 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013) had scaled up and broadened the sanctions regime against the country. The Committee had worked to ensure their effective implementation and had drawn up fact sheets and other documents to provide practical information to Member States. Two open briefings had been held to share information about the Committee’s work and to underscore the assistance available to Member States in the implementation of Council resolutions. “That was an important exercise in transparency,” she stated, adding that the Committee must maintain that practice and must engage with Member States that were facing difficulties in implementing the measures.
Turning to the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, she stated that the conflicts in Syria, Central African Republic, and South Sudan were just three examples that highlighted “the urgency of doing everything in our power to protect children”. The Group’s conclusions on Syria showed that, despite differences of opinion on the situation in that country, the Group was able to act with responsibility and solidarity. Luxembourg had prioritized the consistent integration of protection of children into the work of the Security Council, including in all renewals of mandates and in the establishment of new ones. The Group had regularly convened current events briefings as well as field missions, such as the one to Myanmar in 2013 and to the Democratic Republic of the Congo last week. Luxembourg had also focused on strengthening the legislative framework for the protection of children, including through the adoption of resolution 2143 (2014), which condemned the military use of schools and attacks on them.
Eugène-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), Chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, stated that the Libya sanctions regime had illustrated how proactive the Council had been in responding to the developments on the ground, as evident in the 10 resolutions adopted in a record time of four years, including resolution 2174 (2014), which reinforced the arms embargo and introduced criteria to designate “spoilers” to Libya’s political transition. The Committee had organized two briefings on Libya this year with active participation from Member States. Highlighting the Committee’s attempts to be more transparent, he added that it had also shared with Libya unofficial and informal tables of exemption requests and notifications related to the asset freeze and arms embargo. “Despite our vigilance, the situation on the ground shows gaps in the implementation of the arms embargo,” he said, calling on Member States to fully implement the ban.
Turning to the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, he stated that Rwanda had addressed important concerns and issues on that subject over the course of its meetings, and would do so during the one scheduled for 17 December. The topics included mission start-ups, re-hatting challenges, inter-mission cooperation, women’s participation in peacekeeping, and troop and police preparedness. The upcoming meeting, he added, would address the complex issue of protection of civilians, with the aim of working towards a common understanding of that concept and mandate design. Next year, the High-Level Independent Panel on United Nations Peace Operations would provide, for the first time, a comprehensive assessment of peacekeeping operations and special political missions. The Panel’s recommendations, he hoped, would inform the agenda of the Working Group in 2015.
The meeting began at 4:05 p.m. and ended at 5:30 p.m.
* The 7330th Meeting was closed.